MSU Dept of Sociology

Home / faculty / Directory / Zhenmei Zhang

Zhang, Zhenmei

434C Berkey Hall
Department of Sociology
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Zhenmei Zhang

Associate Professor

Zhenmei Zhang is Associate Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University. She received her Ph.D. degree from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Zhang’s areas of expertise include aging and the life course, family and health, racial/ethnic disparities in health, and elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Specifically, her research has focused on the effects of social relationships (parental and marital history) on both physical and mental health in later life and the role of gender in moderating the impact of social relationships on health. Another line of her research has examined racial/ethnic differentials in a variety of health outcomes, including chronic health problems, functioning problems, and active life expectancy. Most recent projects include an examination of early life influences on cognitive impairment and dementia in China and the United States. Presently, she is investigating patterns and determinants of intergenerational transfers in contemporary China. Dr. Zhang’s research has appeared in Journal of Marriage and Family, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Research on Aging, The Gerontologist, and Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect.

Research Interests

  • Family, gender, and health over the life course
  • Racial and ethnic health disparities
  • Early-life environment and health in later life; aging and health in China; elder abuse and neglect

Areas of Specialization: Health and Medicine; Family

Subareas: Aging, China

Recent Publications

Zhang, Zhenmei, Mark D. Hayward, and Chuntian Lu. 2012 "Is there a Hispanic Epidemiologic Paradox in Later Life? A Closer Look at Chronic Morbidity." Research on Aging 34 (5):548-571.

Selected Grants

Zhenmei Zhang has received an R03 Grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to study the origins, mechanisms, and consequences of racial gaps in cognitive impairment. Funding period: 2011-2013.